restricted access Watching Time: Madison Smartt Bell’s All Souls’ Rising, Narrative, Historiography, and the Contemporary Historical Novel
Abstract

Abstract:

This essay explores a historical fiction that attempts to present a “historically accurate rendition” of the Haitian revolution after postmodernism deconstructed both narrative and history, leaving an intellectual climate skeptical of narrative’s ability to depict the historically real. In Bell’s All Souls’ Rising, characters and plot blend not just with history and not only through historicity, but balance on acceptance or rejection of the narrators’ distinctly diverse historiographic consciousnesses. Bell establishes the contemporary historical novel by productively querying narrative’s production and embracing its myriad possibilities to create a narrative that rejects unity but aspires to comprehensiveness.


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